It is now Friday, February 22nd, and I am preparing for my trip out to Ft. Wayne Indiana for my first recording project in over 5 years.  A lot has changed for me over the past 5 years.  I started my "Saints" project when I was still an associate priest and finished in during the first few months of my first pastorate.  Since then I have taken piano lessons, picked up the ukelele and harmonica and joined a new band, "The Mama and the Padres."  I was also moved into a city parish and finding myself doing a lot of ministry in Spanish (quite different from my two years out in rural Kansas!).  

I also joined the Catholic Association of Musicians (founded by John Michael Talbot) and attended a conference with some fine Catholic musicians from all over the country.  One of the main features of the conference was an all-day workshop on songwriting.  I think my songwriting has improved from attending this conference.

This conference also encouraged me to start playing my music live.  I started by singing and playing back-up with Dan Dúet, Steve Courtney, and Terry Little, but now I have started performing live concert versions of my "Saints" project.  I believe that I have performed "An Evening with the Saints" 6 times. My plan is to develop another live show based on my "Jesus" album and then I've also got plans for a "Bible" show as well. 

So a whole lot has changed in my life since my last recording project.  

I have also learned how to manage my way around in GarageBand pretty well, which has resulted in much better demos from which the producer can work, and it has also facilitated me improving in my own playing skills.  Unlike my last two projects, where I just played acoustic guitar on one track, I plan to play acoustic guitar, piano, ukelele, harmonica, and maybe mandolin on my next two projects.

I am not a "studio musician", that's true, however, I always like it when "solo" artists do more than simply sing on their albums.  I personally like looking at liner notes to see what people are playing, and if the main artist is just singing, I usually am a bit disappointed.  I figure that this person had better have an extremely awesome voice if that's all that he/she does on the album.  Since I do not have an "extremely awesome voice", I want to contribute other things to these projects, so I have been practicing a good deal to get my playing chops "up to snuff."

But I also think that i have a better idea of "my place" in the Catholic music world.  Although I want to make the best album that I can, I am not going to make an album that has "national significance."  I'm not trying to make "the next big thing."  It's possible I had some delusions of this in my first couple albums.  So I'd rather make a project that I'm proud of, and that's authentically me.  I also don't think that these will necessarily be the last projects that i record (I thought "Saints" would be the end), so these don't have to be perfect.  The "great one" might be the next one.  :)

In any case, I am excited to be back in the recording studio, and I believe that I have a strong line-up of songs to record next week. I think that I have refined my craft over the years, and I am looking forward to hearing the finished project and sharing it with you. I plan to update more next week.

Peace,

Fr. Kent

2/22/2013

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